This is the last post in my IFS Practice 101 series. I spent five posts explaining how to get to know protective parts of you and get their permission to work with the hurt, exiled parts of you that they protect. But I’m going to cover working with these vulnerable exiles in just one post, and I’m doing that to make a couple of points.
First, because this isn’t a manual for working with exiles. You can start listening to the protectors that are chatting away in your head anytime. But working with exiles is delicate, and it’s really helpful to have a feel for your Self-energy before you attempt it. We don’t always get that luxury, of course—our exiles come out when they come out! But it wouldn’t be responsible of me to suggest you try following my directions based only on a blog post. Get some live experience with parts work first! What I hope this post will be useful for is understanding what the heck IFS is, and helping people who are learning IFS to understand this part of the process from a new angle.
Second, because I hold the IFS process for unburdening loosely (and so does official IFS, in fact). I think it’s helpful to think of it less as a series of steps and more as a menu of options you can offer your exiled part, who can take any of those options in any order they please, or come up with something new. That’s why I’ve boiled a classically 6-step process down to just two steps: witness and offer options.Read more “Witness and Offer Options”